I have been alluding to this post for some time and, alas, I am ready to write it. This will be my final blog post, friends.
Skittle is two months old now. The anniversary of her conception is less than a month away. The holidays are upon us. The year is coming to a close. It just seems appropriate, I guess. It feels right.
I began Waiting to Expand with a sense of desperation. I was three weeks post-miscarriage and feeling utterly alone and lost. My dear friend Lillian suggested I blog it out and, for nineteen months, that is what I have done. I have come here in good times and, especially, in bad. With every fear, every worry, every uncertainty, every freak out, I have turned to all of you.
But that season has passed.
While I still have my fears, worries, and uncertainties, they are not at the same intensity. The emotions I experience now don’t run as raw or deep. The scars of infertility remain, but I am no longer in need of constant reassurance and no longer as passionate about blogging. I knew the moment I began this infertility blog that it would end when my journey to have a baby ended as well. I have never intended to be a mommy blogger. Blogging about one’s adventures in parenting can be wonderful, but it is not for me. Quite honestly, I feel as though I don’t have much to say on the topic. If I have nothing worthwhile to contribute, there is no reason for me to be here. I am wasting my time. And yours.
That’s not to say that I will never return here. I may. To give an occasional (very occasional) update on Skittle. Or more likely, to blog through our next effort in TTC in a year or two. But by then, I imagine many of you will have moved on as well. And if I do continue with my blogging here in the distant future, I am fairly certain my blog will be a rather pitiful, lonely thing. After all, what infertile wants to read about someone trying to conceive their third child? Even if every child has come after a lot of work.
I have spent a lot of time trying to think of the right words to say thank you, and good-bye, to each of you. There are none.
For the most part, I have led a blessed life. But I have suffered too. I was molested as a child. I lost people who were dear to me. I have attended too many funerals at the age of thirty. Friends broke my heart. I struggled, and continue to struggle, with feelings of inadequacy and self-hate. And yet, my darkest days have been those two periods in my life when I have fought to bring a child into this world.
On many of those days, I felt like I was drowning. Like a piece of me was dying.
But you were there. Each of you beautiful souls were there. You lifted me up. You offered comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. When I felt like I had no one else, I had you. This community saved me when I needed salvation the most.
Those two words are so small, just a flip of the tongue. Just eight letters that take mere milliseconds to type out. They are not enough.
But nothing is.
There are no words big or strong or loud enough to speak my thanks to you. I feel such a fondness, so much love, for every one of you — those who regularly comment on this blog and those who I know lurk in the shadows. You supported me when I was at my lowest low. This blog was my safe place. It offered so much solace. In many ways, it became my home. And you, my family.
Truly, I mean that. Thank you a million times. What you have done for me no one else has. And though sometimes we have to fly from the nest, leave a place that we call Home, that place always stays with us. We are part of it, and it of us.
So please don’t think I’m abandoning this community. I’ll be around. If I follow your blog, I will continue to do so. Maybe not comment as frequently, but I’ll be reading. I want to see each of your journeys come to their own rightful, perfect endings. And if I don’t know you through your own blog, you can always reach me at my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please e-mail me! I don’t check it often, but I will be checking it, and I’ll respond when I can. I promise. I’m not abandoning you. Time and distance may separate you from your family, but they are still with you always. I’ll see you again.
And for those of you still in the trenches, I want to say this: Please don’t give up hope. I am not naive or ignorant. I know I was never a worst-case scenario. I may have lacked perspective and felt as though I was at rock bottom many times, but I know there could have been so much farther for me to fall. And yet, I do know women who can’t say that. Who really were given no reason to hope. My friend Kat was told her egg and her husband’s sperm were incompatible (such a lame explanation, if you ask me) and unlikely to produce a baby. And yet today, as I write this, she is probably snuggling her boy-girl twins — babies who are half her, half her husband. And there is my cousin Lily, who endured ten years of infertility (and two failed IVFs), before she miraculously and unexpectedly conceived her daughter, who was born mere weeks after Cupcake. And there is another childhood friend, Em, who suffered through six years of infertility and nine miscarriages, including an ectopic that nearly took her life, before her baby boy was born a year and a half ago. My point is, even on the darkest day, there is always hope.
I began this year with such despair, as you might remember from this post. I felt like I had 365 days of unbearable pain already laid out before me. I was afraid for what the year might — or might not — bring. But a week later, I was pregnant. It only takes one breath, a single heartbeat, for everything to change. It may happen when you are entirely too hopeful or when you least expect it, but miracles occur every day. Even to us infertiles. Statistics show that most of you, no matter how long it takes or how hard it is, will eventually cross to the other side as well. And my heart believes that, too. Regardless of where you are at in your journey, at the end of it, most of you will be holding a child — your child — in your arms. That probably provides little comfort or peace right now, but it will. One day, it will.
I can’t believe this is it, my friends. My last post. My good-bye.
To conclude, I’ll leave you with this photo:
You may remember this post and this one from last year, explaining how this necklace came to be. Each birthstone represents one of my babies. Cupcake. Teddy Graham. And now, Skittle. These three are the reason for everything. For all the pain. All the suffering. The tears, the despair, the doubt. For questioning my faith, and for strengthening it. They are the reason for the frustration, the anger, the sadness. And finally, for the joy. And all the love in my life. The reason I am celebrating throughout this holiday season. Ultimately, they are the reason for this blog. They started it all. Before they were ever even conceived, my journey began with them.
And so here it ends with them, too.